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Ireland votes No - what next?

Mark Mardell | 12:53 UK time, Friday, 13 June 2008

Ireland has voted No to Lisbon. For European Union politicians who back the treaty it is indeed an unlucky Friday 13th. But what will they do?

The plan is that all other countries will press ahead with backing the treaty. I am told Gordon Brown has phoned the French president to assure him that is what he will do. But this surely is just a holding pattern. Without Ireland on board Lisbon is dead.

The ball is in the court of the Irish prime minister. Many politicians in Europe will hope that he will, at some later date, call another referendum. It's likely that even some No campaigners in Ireland will urge him to go back and demand some concessions. If he went down that route Brian Cowen would be taking a grave political gamble, risking another No. If the EU demands another vote it will hardly enhance its reputation for democratic accountability.


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  • 1. At 1:00pm on 13 Jun 2008, Walshicus wrote:

    Depressing news indeed. The Yes campaign needed to be on the ball earlier, the No campaign needed to have not spread lies. Everyone loses.

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  • 2. At 1:01pm on 13 Jun 2008, kingcod1980 wrote:

    Pure and simple - Ireland should suspend itself from the EU until it decides what it wants to do. Only honourable thing to do!

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  • 3. At 1:03pm on 13 Jun 2008, SteveFarr wrote:

    One for the people.

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  • 4. At 1:08pm on 13 Jun 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    'press ahead with backing the treaty'

    Why ? Why ? Why ?


    What ? What ? What ?


    Why this ridiculous pretence that everything can carry on despite a democratic vote having put the kibosh on the EU Constitution,

    It is dead, kaput, finished, an 'ex-treaty' and should be forgotten about !

    What, pray tell, is the point of a referendum if the eejits like Gordon Brown are going to ignore it ? Why bother pretending that we the people have a voice, when they will just ignore it anyway ?

    Mark, you need to ask some searching and direct questions to the people who think this vote can just be ignored, and the will of the EU imposed on the peoples of Europe with not a jot of consent or a democratic mandate.

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  • 5. At 1:09pm on 13 Jun 2008, tarvaa wrote:

    Well done Ireland.

    26 governments refuse their populations a say on this ill-considered mish-mash of measures as 26 countries know that it would be impossible to explain to their populations why the Lisbon treaty deserves to come into being.

    Fortunately the Irish people have been brave enough to withstand the political bullying and reject this treaty on behalf of all of us.

    Surely now it is time for the politicians to get serious about EU reform, to turn this monolithic, unaccountable and mismanaged organisation into something that is accountable, is well run and more importantly, is answerable to its citizens. Unfortunately this isn;t likely to be the outcome, as we will end up with another set of ill-considered proposals that we will be denied a say on.

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  • 6. At 1:11pm on 13 Jun 2008, Rob wrote:

    Will politicians ever listen - the people of Europe simply don't want closer integration aside from trade ties.

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  • 7. At 1:11pm on 13 Jun 2008, The_Oncoming_Storm wrote:

    What part of "NO" do Eurocrats not understand?

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  • 8. At 1:11pm on 13 Jun 2008, one step beyond wrote:

    Thank you to the people of Ireland, you have done all of Europe a huge favour and you should be very proud of yourself and your democratic instincts.

    I now hope the people who are leading the E.U. project finally realise everything is not rosy in the garden. There is a serious disconnection between the peoples of Europe and the political elite. The latter have work to do, but the very first thing they should do is listen to the people

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  • 9. At 1:11pm on 13 Jun 2008, WhiteHorses11 wrote:

    Unlucky for the Euros, Lucky for us!
    Hey, we might even get a vote now, instead of having it imposed on us......

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  • 10. At 1:12pm on 13 Jun 2008, Richard Kent wrote:

    "The ball is in the court of the Irish prime minister. Many politicians in Europe will hope that he will, at some later date, call another referendum."

    So, as many predicted, they will keep going until they get the answer they want. This is not democracy.

    Give all EU countries a referendum and accept their decision.

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  • 11. At 1:20pm on 13 Jun 2008, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    Well, I'm very disappointed to the result, but...

    Another referendum about this treaty is not acceptable. Concessions for Ireland are unacceptable. Putting the treaty into a re-vote or giving concessions to Ireland to please the voters would only lead in the future to same kind of trouble as we have seen with accepting the Nice and now with this treaty. No. The Lisbon Treaty is dead.

    What the EU must do now is to take the hard path and start negotiations on a new federal treaty that would be opt-in. If some countries don't want to joint the new treaty, they could stay with the current EU, but all other EU countries should have the freedom to go further on in European integration.

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  • 12. At 1:22pm on 13 Jun 2008, andfreedom wrote:

    If Brown still forces through ratification of the Treaty then at a time when the Conservatives have finally slipped he will have committed Political suicide; for Brown (and the EU) to have any creditbility then the Treaty needs to be put to rest, once and for all. Brown's poll ratings are low enough, the only thing that could make it any worse would be if he banned Christmas, surely he is smart enough to know what needs to be done now, tell the EU to think again!!

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  • 13. At 1:23pm on 13 Jun 2008, Bretters wrote:

    I've already heard the Yes camp complaining that so few people could stop the constitution, sorry "Lisbon Treaty", in it's tracks. Well that could easily have been avoided if the citizens of all the member states had been granted a referendum. But that would have been democratic - not something the EUSSR likes to bother with!

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  • 14. At 1:27pm on 13 Jun 2008, MarkB-S wrote:

    "If the EU demands another vote it will hardly enhance its reputation for democratic accountability. "

    Well, that's just the problem, isn't it? No matter who by, or how many times, the grand ideas of the Eurocrats are rejected , they just seem to keep coming back for more against the will of the people. It doesn't matter that only Ireland held a vote. If other countries had then there would surely have been other rejections.

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  • 15. At 1:28pm on 13 Jun 2008, excellentcatblogger wrote:

    Which part of No, does Gordon Brown not understand?

    If this needs to be ratified, then I suggest it proceeds in a professional manner. Break it down into intelligible chunks, with a Yes/No tick box for each. Some bits will be acceptable, others not.

    The whole process will become transparent to all "quelle horreur!" (apologies if my French is gramatically incorrect). But the referendum ought to be extended to the whole EU populace if the institution is to regain any sort of credibility at all.

    To be honest politicians are not rated very highly in the UK, to put it midly!

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  • 16. At 1:29pm on 13 Jun 2008, Mark Bentley wrote:

    Isn't democracy in action wonderful? Doubtless the Irish will be told they are naughty children for wrecking the Eurocrats plans and be asked to vote again, this time giving the correct answer. When this happens, it would be nice if we and every other citizen of the EU was allowed the same right.

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  • 17. At 1:31pm on 13 Jun 2008, timulster wrote:

    GOOD DAY FOR EUROPE. I think they should close EU down. It has too much bureaucracy, too much power and our country have no contol. There is no democracy in that. Hope a NO vote will be confirmed. Ulster Says NO

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  • 18. At 1:31pm on 13 Jun 2008, DutchNemo wrote:

    I have just two words to say: Nice Treaty.

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  • 19. At 1:32pm on 13 Jun 2008, powermeerkat wrote:

    "If the EU demands another vote it will hardly enhance its reputation for democratic accountability. "

    Reminds me of notorious Chicago mayor, Richard Daley who, when whiping vote for JFK instructed citizens of Windy City:


    Only much later investigation into the fraudulant election (which Kennedy won) showed that Daley wasn't joking as many people believed at the time.

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  • 20. At 1:35pm on 13 Jun 2008, chrisboote wrote:

    So despite the treaty nowbeing 'dead in the water' (Sarkozy's phrase) the remaining nations are going to ratify it anyway?


    Unless they intend to either ignore the Irish vote, or make them vote again (and again and again) until they get it 'right'

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  • 21. At 1:36pm on 13 Jun 2008, owwmykneecap wrote:

    Delighted, absolutely delighted.

    If there is a second vote in a years time, well that would be a sign I no longer live in a democracy.

    Doing that stunt once was more than enough.

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  • 22. At 1:36pm on 13 Jun 2008, Soddball wrote:

    Hang on a minute. Weren't we told that ALL 27 nations have to ratify the constitreaty for it to be valid?

    How can the others POSSIBLY press ahead if everyone has to ratify it?

    Oh yes, I know how they can ratify it. Because they're Eurocrats, and they know better than the ignorant, ungrateful proles. Let's just make them vote again.

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  • 23. At 1:44pm on 13 Jun 2008, odonnaile wrote:

    As an Irish person, I am embarrassed for our country.

    The referendum result is a mixture of a poor campaign by the Yes side, a campaign of lies by the No side and the allergy many Irish people have to getting up off their backsides and voting.

    I'm a student of EU law. I have studied this treaty impartially and open-minded and I can honestly say that it was a good deal for Ireland.

    All the main parties, the main trade unions, the main farmers' unions, the main business leaders and the main European leaders all backed this treaty.

    All there were from the No side were posters of monkeys - yes, posters of monkeys.

    There were so many holes in the No side's arguments that there should honestly be a law against either lying to the electorate to such an extent or being so damn stupid.

    Also, on a personal note, I'm from the North and have been living in Dublin for many years. I have voted Sinn Féin all of my voting life, both North and South.

    After their scandalous campaign, their short-sightedness and their sheer stupidity, I will never vote for them again!

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  • 24. At 1:44pm on 13 Jun 2008, LiamMerseyside wrote:

    Ireland has done its duty, and hopefully the Great British Public will wake up and sack Mr Brown forthwith if he does not now allow a UK referendum. When we consider all of the handouts Ireland has received, and how well the economy has done as a result, we must wonder what the Lisbon Treaty is all about if the usually pro-EU Ireland has said no. This treaty cannot possibly be in the UK national interest.

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  • 25. At 1:51pm on 13 Jun 2008, chris smith wrote:

    god bless ireland the eu will demand a second vote as they are undemocratic.They should learn from it and move on and listen to the public

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  • 26. At 1:51pm on 13 Jun 2008, hammer68 wrote:


    Lot's of people on this site are saying that the treaty would make Europe more democratic, then please tell me how in the case of the UK an unelected primeminister can force the people of my country into a European ideal that the vast MAJORITY want nothing to do with.

    you can't arrive at a democracy through inequality. the end does not justify the means.

    if you want us to buy into your dream then show us how it will benefit us rather than the old "it's for your own good" tosh!

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  • 27. At 1:52pm on 13 Jun 2008, SCFNL29 wrote:

    Fantastic, fantastic news. Ireland has saved us all. I love Ireland!

    If they dare try to get them to vote again then it is an absolute disgrace, and I think surely there would be wavering yes voters who would find it shocking that they were being told effectively that their first votes didnt count.

    This whole scenario (the Constitution/Lisbon treaty fiasco) has been a shining example of everything that is wrong with politicians and politics, and they just haven't learnt. Thank God Ireland has sent them a message that the EU can go forward, but it must change its approach.

    No more of this blind ambition with its arrogant assumption that it has the support of its citizens whatever it does.

    They'll get a yes vote when they prove they deserve a yes vote.

    Once again, Thank you Ireland!!!!!!

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  • 28. At 1:53pm on 13 Jun 2008, frank46 wrote:

    Congratulations to Ireland, the polititians tried to "bully" their way through but failed.
    It's a shame though ! The EU will "force" Ireland to "toe" the line and do as they are told, this is the EU version of Democracy.

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  • 29. At 1:53pm on 13 Jun 2008, msbriana wrote:


    Thank you, thank you Irish voters.

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  • 30. At 1:55pm on 13 Jun 2008, Freeborn John wrote:

    My grandfather struggled for Irish independence and was interned at the Curragh during World War 1, suffering ill health due to the harsh conditions of his imprisonment which led to his an early death. I have never been so proud of him as today, because without such men there would have been no referendum yesterday and the lights of democracy would be going out all across Europe, including in Britain where the government is simultaneously taking an axe to our ancient liberties.

    The politicians from the managed democracies of the Continent who abuse the good name of Europe to shake of the democratic shackles on their power will no doubt meet soon in European Council. Probably they will say that ratification continues, that the Irish must vote again, or that some special status must be found to accommodate countries that believe in the sovereignty of the people outside their power cartel. But I have never been so sure that the EU project is going to be brought down. Up the Rebels!

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  • 31. At 1:59pm on 13 Jun 2008, NeillBrettell wrote:

    Thank God for democracy working correctly. The treaty is dead for all of Europe.But wait, I see a second treary, exactly the same being sent out as a different Treaty. No need for a referemdum now, Eu WINS.

    Can the UK have a second vote on whether we should be a member of the EU please? The first YES vote was obviously wrong

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  • 32. At 2:04pm on 13 Jun 2008, ltbauzo wrote:

    This is good news for Europe, the REAL Europe, where people want to be part of an ideal that is an historic necessity!

    Hopefully this will bring about the two-speed Europe that some of us have been proposing for a while.

    Ireland and the UK, together with other important countries of course, will be outside the European institutions (perhaps with a trade agreement like Norway or Switzerland) and the other European Countries will finally be in a position to progress to further financial and political integration.

    Everyone is a winner this way..happy days!

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  • 33. At 2:06pm on 13 Jun 2008, themanFiachra wrote:

    Great news!

    This one is for Dustin folks!

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  • 34. At 2:07pm on 13 Jun 2008, Juch2008 wrote:

    Too bad, the time will be lost, but this is yet another lesson of not making it 1) simple and short and 2) higlighting the "added value" on a national level and not how good it will be for "the whole of Europe". At least in the promotion and education campaigns...

    Then one might have a chance to be understood and ultimately accepted in each of the countries of multicultural Europe...

    But - don't give up - it is always more fun to be an underdog :)

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  • 35. At 2:07pm on 13 Jun 2008, mrcynict4 wrote:

    Just wonderful news. Maybe just maybe this will help to derail the gravy train!

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  • 36. At 2:12pm on 13 Jun 2008, themanFiachra wrote:

    Seriously though. what need to happen now is a major debate about the future of Europe. The EU needs to be more honest and direct about its grand project, where its intended direction is, be it a United States of Europe or not. Enough of the stealth tactics.

    We the Irish people are pro Europe in general, but we will not be fed lies, we will not be dictated to.

    We want the EU to function better. However there was more to the Lisbon treaty than improving it functionality. There was progress into territories we have not agreed nor discussed. This is wrong, and as a result we voted no.

    So now lets discuss, properly this time!

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  • 37. At 2:12pm on 13 Jun 2008, Eoin_og wrote:

    'The people of Europe do not want closer integration aside from trade ties' - how do you know this? The 45% of Irish people that turned out to vote do not represent the people of Europe. And can we please get past this myth that somehow the EU is non-accountable - it is comprised of the national governments of Europe that we voted for, and undergoes a little thing called parliamentary democracy. And if you belive every institution should be fully accountable, then welcome to a world where every single decision, down to the minutaie, will have to be decided by a referendum, unthinkable as well as impractical. No, we elect representatives for ourselves who then scrutinise on our behalf - and not only because it would take too much time for us all to do it, but also because (as the Irish have just shown) some matters are far too technical to be understood by a busy population, who would end up falling for the misinformation that is so often put around by those with ulterior motives.

    The Lisbon treaty was far from perfect, and had a lot of compromises; but it was a better deal than what we have just now. Why don't we ask Ireland to excuse themselves for a while from the EU, trade ties and all - then we shall see just how desperate they are to get back in. The 'people of Europe' take the EU for granted, and often pick up on it for its bureaucracy and corruption at the top - but these are far outweighed by the good that it manages to do (anyone remember the phrase Celtic Tiger, and where it came from?)

    So well done Ireland, for falling victim to quite ridiculous tales about how terrible the EU is (babies being microchipped - come on now people). I sincerely hope that you bow out of the EU and let the rest of us get on - and in ten years we'll let you re-apply, and wait for the referendum on 'Should Ireland go back into the EU, warts and all?'. I predict a 100% yes vote.

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  • 38. At 2:13pm on 13 Jun 2008, petefz wrote:

    I flew back to Ireland to vote against this treaty because of it's intrinsic anti-democratic nature of it. This is simply a rebadged European constitution that was rejected by the Dutch and the French. Now the eurocrats want to railroad Europe into their vision, without any regard to the population of Europe, whom they are supposed to be representing.

    I am proud to be a member of the voting Irish public today. I hope Mr. Brown puts it to the English people, but I know he is not prepared to face the resounding NO he would get.

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  • 39. At 2:13pm on 13 Jun 2008, steepholm2003 wrote:

    "Ireland should suspend itself from the EU until it decides what it wants to do."

    Er, I think Ireland just did decide. Well done to them for resisting the emotional blackmail.

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  • 40. At 2:14pm on 13 Jun 2008, DistantTraveller wrote:

    The re-named constitution was deliberately written to be as impenetrable to ordinary people as possible - and with the cynical intention of side-stepping the need for a referendum (apart from Ireland).

    Initially, our own government shamefully pretended this was a mere 'tidying up exercise'.

    Then they pretended the new treaty was totally different to the old one.

    Most citizens of Europe welcome the idea of a trading block, but not a political superstate.

    On each of the three occasions ordinary people have been allowed to have their say, they have voted "NO".

    What part of "NO" don't they understand?

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  • 41. At 2:15pm on 13 Jun 2008, edbradburn wrote:

    I have no real opinion on the Lisbon Treaty, since I haven't done any research.

    But in terms of politics, isn't a 45% turnout a little low for a Referendum?

    Shouldn't the headline be: "Most Irish don't care about the Lisbon Treaty one way or the other"?

    (Maybe we'll see a repeat pattern: first vote No with low turnout first -- rethink -- second vote Yes with strong turnout.

    Mind you, even then the Irish only managed 50% turnout.)

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  • 42. At 2:15pm on 13 Jun 2008, thebaldsoprano wrote:


    Do you also think France and Holland should've suspended themselves when they rejected the ill fated EU Constitution?

    This treaty is basically a repackaged version of it.

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  • 43. At 2:16pm on 13 Jun 2008, rogerhelmer wrote:

    Throughout the campaign, the BBC has described the Lisbon Treaty as "Designed to streamline decision-making in an enlarged EU". This is pure Yes Campaign propaganda. The No Campaign might say "Designed to centralise power in Brussels, and to reduce the autonomy of member states". Shouldn't the BBC try to find a more neutral phrase? Roger Helmer MEP.

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  • 44. At 2:17pm on 13 Jun 2008, europeanlawstudent wrote:

    Legally there is no way that the Lisbon Treaty can enter force if the Irish do not ratify the Treaty. This is therefore great news to all eurosceptics and those who value the sovereignty of their own country. Moreover, respecting the vote of a people in a referendum is a fine sign of democracy.

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  • 45. At 2:22pm on 13 Jun 2008, tr3amgbgt wrote:

    Further to the French and Dutch Noes, eurocrats tried to cheat us into accepting the same thing (even if wrapped up in a different paper).

    The Irish have just shown them that it wont be that easy.

    Well done Ireland!

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  • 46. At 2:24pm on 13 Jun 2008, nicomook wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 47. At 2:27pm on 13 Jun 2008, Frenchlily wrote:

    As far as I have understood it, the ratification of this Treaty was subject to the approval by ALL parliaments and countries so why there should be more talks about it and ask all the other countries to ratify...
    Legally speaking, this Treaty is dead isn't it? Or was there an 'exception' clause hidden in the 400 plus pages of this Constitution?

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  • 48. At 2:29pm on 13 Jun 2008, The_Guvnor wrote:

    Yes !!!

    It looks as though the Irish have voted a resounding NO

    Ireland, you have done the other 497,000,000 souls of Europe proud and i salute you.

    You have stood up and defended the right to have a democratic say in the treaty that has been ferverently denied to us other citizens and have thrown it out.

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and i will never be able to repay you for this debt of gratitude that I owe you.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you !!!

    Now give us in the UK a vote and we can tell the EU where they can stick it as well.

    ( I wrote this on a rival blog put I still couldn't have put it better if I'd re-written it )

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  • 49. At 2:30pm on 13 Jun 2008, Steam1 wrote:

    I wonder if, for once, the politicians will realise that they are elected by the people, and eventually they do have to listen to the people. People in Ireland were given the chance to vote, and despite the apparent outcome, our Prime Minister seems to want to press ahead.
    I thought we were living in a democracy, but it would appear not.

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  • 50. At 2:32pm on 13 Jun 2008, FIATslaves wrote:

    This is momentous news. Brown is a dictator and his behaviour is frankly disgusting. How can you be so ignorant and arrogant to the very people you are supposed to serve?

    To all the people of Ireland who voted NO, thank you from the bottom of my english heart.

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  • 51. At 2:32pm on 13 Jun 2008, voodoogecko wrote:

    Fantastic. Well done the irish people. Despite the entire political machine being in favour (except Sinn Fein) the people are speaking.

    "This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

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  • 52. At 2:33pm on 13 Jun 2008, despinni wrote:

    Is it another demonstration of euro sclerosis?

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  • 53. At 2:34pm on 13 Jun 2008, Anglophone wrote:

    I'm mighty relieved that some people have had the courage to stop this thing in its tracks. The "treaty" was simply exactly the same as the defunct constitution, but written in Byzantine complexity with endless cross references to existing EU treaties. It is beyond the ability of ordinary people and probably many lawyers to understand. It is presented as a minor tidying up exercise to streamline the EU, which is a EUphemism for making it easier to govern you and me.

    What next? Despite a second rejection by the people, I'm not holding my breath over significant EU reform. The vested interests are vast. What should happen would be a root and branch review of the purpose of the EU itself and how it becomes democratically accountable to the people it is meant to serve, co-ordinating the sovereign democratic governments of Europe on the big issues. Not trying to simply assume more and more power at the expense of democratic bodies.

    I am broadly in favour of the European Union as a means of common understanding, trade, arbitration and the management of supra-national issues (such as climate change) among European people. Not the evolving, self-serving bureaucratic monster that has evolved today.

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  • 54. At 2:38pm on 13 Jun 2008, sammon8 wrote:

    I find it interesting how euro politicians say that they dont know what to do if the treaty is not retified, well this surely puts them under the bar as far a job description goes. secondly why is there not a serious effort to offer an alternative to the financial swamp of brussles why cant a foundation be built on NATO and free trade!

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  • 55. At 2:40pm on 13 Jun 2008, sammon8 wrote:

    it is disturbing how the eurocrats refuse the will of the people i am coming to view brussles as the foundation block of a new nazi party

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  • 56. At 2:43pm on 13 Jun 2008, fear_thar_lear wrote:

    We need to vote again. This is a sad day for democracy. The price of the gift of 'one man one vote' is that we must inform ourselves and use our votes responsibly. The Irish voters did not do this.

    Holding another vote is not undemocratic. Voting no today simply because you didn't understand the treaty (as many Irish voters claim to have done) showed irresponsible disregard for the gift of democracy. It is not the EU which is showing the disregard for democracy here!

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  • 57. At 2:43pm on 13 Jun 2008, buckeridge wrote:

    There should be a pan-European referendum on the Treaty, held at the same time as the European elections in 2009. The EU should now begin a process of open dialogue with Europe's citizens and gauge what is right and wrong about the system. It should also explain what is not working and why it needs to be fixed. The system will, however, continue to be dysfunctional until a new reform treaty is agreed.

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  • 58. At 2:45pm on 13 Jun 2008, thegoat300 wrote:


    I hope you were being sarcastic when you wrote that "Ireland should suspend itself from the EU until it decides what it wants to do".

    Ireland has decided what it wants to do! It wants to reject the Lisbon Treaty!


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  • 59. At 2:46pm on 13 Jun 2008, neilhomer wrote:

    First the constitution was rejected by the French and the Dutch, with Spain agreeing yes in their refendum. Now, Ireland have rejected the treaty in their referendum.

    Democratically 75% of the countries, whose governments have been brave enough to listen to their people by allowing them to vote on the subject, have rejected it.

    Why do the EU not listen, the people do not want this treaty. It has been rejected - we do not want a United States of Europe, it should be a trade zone not a political zone

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  • 60. At 2:46pm on 13 Jun 2008, Rusty wrote:

    A step backwards for Ireland. The EU will power on regardless. Us Irish are a greedy bunch, all take and little give. A sad day indeed.

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  • 61. At 2:48pm on 13 Jun 2008, The_Oncoming_Storm wrote:

    Go raibh maith agat Na h-Eireann!

    (Thank You Ireland!)

    (My Gaelic is a bit rusty, due to not paying enough attention at school, hope I've got that right!)

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  • 62. At 2:48pm on 13 Jun 2008, Chris wrote:

    However this draft Constitution is dressed up or disguised, whenever the people of Europe get their say, they reject it.

    Yet, even now, Gordon Brown is toadying up to Sarkozy, assuring him he will press on with it and push it through the House of Lords. What's the point? The Treaty is dead. Long live independence and freedom to decide our laws for ourselves.

    When will the political classes of the EU finally get the message?

    If Brown had a listening, democratic bone in his entire body, he would have recognised that the sentiments expressed in Ireland have great resonance in the UK and started asking himself how he might campaign for the kind of Europe the people of these isles actually want, rather than the high-concept, irrelevant nonsesne he and his type seem to want.

    Thank you, Ireland. The rest of Europe - the people of Europe, that is - owes you a pint.

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  • 63. At 2:50pm on 13 Jun 2008, BuzzDeTower wrote:

    A good day for democracy!

    I'm not anti-Europe but it's time for the Eurocrats to stop and listen to what the people of this continent actually want, if we even all want the same thing.

    Sovereignty rests with all of us as citizens and we *delegate* it to politicians where *we* decide that's a good idea. It's bad enough that we have an unelected prime minister, without having more and more powers in unelected bodies in Brussels topped off with an unelected president of the EU as well.

    No-one under the age of about 60 in the UK has had an opportunity to express their view in a referendum on the EU. It's time we had that opportunity and all our friends in the rest of Europe too. Consult, formulate a menu of options and let the people decide whether we want a trading partnership, to be part of a European federal superstate or something in between.

    Well done the Emerald Isle, and not forgetting the Dutch and French before them. Now let the real debate begin!

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  • 64. At 2:52pm on 13 Jun 2008, Ticape wrote:

    So now that the Lisbon treaty has failed it means that the UK won't be able to leave the EU in a long while.

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  • 65. At 2:53pm on 13 Jun 2008, wolfbolt wrote:

    You can have any colour as long as its black! As an Irish person living in another European capital I thoroughly approve of the EU as a project for the free trade of goods and services but I have to say when it comes to political institutions the EU is a disgrace.

    Its accounts are a mess. Its MEPs expenses are rife with abuse and they voted against making the system more accountable. They talk of democracy but when the Irish said No to Nice they held the vote again!

    I hear compaints about such a small number of people (4.5m Irish) deciding the faith of 350m Europeans! Well to that I say add up all the parliamentarians in the other 26 countries who propose to ratify
    Lisbon and see if they outnumber the Irish voters in the No camp. The reality is that people across Europe see the inistiutions as aloof and unaccountable. Its only inevitable that they increasingly give it the two fingers any opportunity they get. This is a reflection of the EU's failure to get buy in from the citizenry of Europe and teh patronising way in which they are told 'its too complicated, you wouldn't understand just vote yes'.

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  • 66. At 2:54pm on 13 Jun 2008, MalcolmW2 wrote:

    Isn't it ironic that this is result is announced on Friday 13th? Wasn't that the name of a horror film where the dead corpse just kept springing back to life? So far we have had "NO" votes on EU treaties from Denmark, Ireland, France, Holland and now Ireland again. The body keeps springing back to life though, but if anyone bothers to check closely, they will notice that it is now starting to decompose and smell rather nasty.

    The truth is that if a vote were held on this treaty in every EU member state, the "NO" vote would probably win in at least half of them, maybe more. The political classes know this all too well. No surprise then that no referenda were offered. That just about sums up why the people in Ireland voted the way they did. They simply don't trust the EU, and we should all offer our thanks to the Irish for saying publicly what we would have given the chance. Perhaps one day the EU will listen to the message that we don't want a "bigger" or "closer" Europe, because if it doesn't, then one day soon, there won't be an EU at all.

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  • 67. At 2:54pm on 13 Jun 2008, Osgoodwasgood wrote:

    This forum is endanger of losing credibility. I have always found it an excellent place to engage in intelligent debate but the current moderation policy has left me bewildred.
    Why are so many posts being moderated? These are often from posters I am familiar with and struggle to see how they could suddenly have become abusive en masse.
    Is there a new bottom covering moderator incapable of exercising judgement so feels it is safer to ban everything?

    Technically and legally Lisbon is dead but that won't stop it. I rather think this headstrong rush will hasten the EU's downfall. There seems to be no middle ground between the Federalists and the Sceptics with the Federalists utterly opposed to the idea of reform. It is the full on dream or nothing and I think they will end up with the latter.

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  • 68. At 2:58pm on 13 Jun 2008, digitalabingdonian wrote:

    What next is that the EU should get back to basics.Stop sweeping tha CAP under the carpet and hoping nobody notices it,balance their books so that finally they are passed instead of just ignoring their budget,clamp down on fraud,abolish the post of commissioner because why at great expense should the EU be run by these unelected mates of their countries leaders and then make all MEPs expenses public.Until at least some of these are done there should be no talk of expanding and no new treaties.

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  • 69. At 3:01pm on 13 Jun 2008, MacSweeneyD wrote:

    Dear Kingcod1980

    I think you'll find Ireland has decided exactly what it wants to do - It's voted strongly for a No.

    This may not be the outcome you were hoping for but put simply it's democracy in action and you have to accept it.

    The alternative is a political arrangement akin to that of Mugabe's Zimbabwe. You cannot sneer at the choice people make in a world where millions die simply for the right to vote freely.

    One final point, if this was to be a pan-Eurpean vote you have to wonder how many other countries might have followed Ireland's lead.


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  • 70. At 3:03pm on 13 Jun 2008, Topcliff wrote:

    How shameful that a country born in the fascism of 1916 should give us a lesson in democracy - twice!

    Well done and thank you Ireland!

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  • 71. At 3:03pm on 13 Jun 2008, denoir wrote:

    To the non-Irish Eurosceptics that are cheering:

    1) You may have been against the ride in the first place but cheering when somebody sabotages the brakes and the engine while you are moving at full speed isn't very smart. The EU won't go away - on the contrary it will eat more of your money than it would have if the treaty had passed. Almost all changes are simplifications of the current framework and would have led to a smaller bureaucracy. This is not a win for those critical to the EU - this is a vote for leaving things as they are.

    2) If you think that the Irish that voted no share your cause, you are sadly mistaken. The Irish are almost unanimously pro-EU. Primarily this is an extortion attempt - to get a better deal at the expense of the other member states. It is their right to do so and the flaw of the system is that they can block the other member states from proceeding.

    The best thing now would be to chop the treaty into smaller optional parts. If a country chooses to be excluded from a part it should be excluded from all EU treaties that are affected by that part. I'm not sure though that this is legally possible given the already signed treaties.

    No, this was not a good outcome regardless if you are pro-EU or anti-EU. This just means we'll keep the same expensive, inefficient and incoherent system that we have today. It won't be going away and it won't be improved.

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  • 72. At 3:06pm on 13 Jun 2008, Stevo + Cheese = Clueless! wrote:

    Thank you!
    Its a proud day to be Irish!

    The arrogance of the EU makes me sick! Especially the stance taken by the French, whos own people rejected the previous version but yet were told this time round that they didn't need a vote.
    I am sick of the EU telling us what to do and they way they tried to bully us is a disgrace!
    Is this a democracy or a dictatorship in disguise? No way anyone else can have a say in our taxation, neutrality, military or courts of law.. These are ours not the EU's business.

    I think if the EU bullies had asked other countries to vote, we would see the same elsewhere!

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  • 73. At 3:06pm on 13 Jun 2008, sindoh wrote:

    Bitterly disappointing outcome.

    And I wouldn't mind if the reasons that most voters have stated were their reasons for voting no were actually based on truths or knowledge of the subject matter.

    The people who voted no because they say they didn't know what it was all about, should really have made the effort to become informed before trying to influence an outcome. With rights come responsibility. Get informed, or leave the voting to the people who have bothered to find out what it is about.

    The Irish government should also carry some blame for their poor Yes campaign. Their late entry into the debate allowed the No campaign to spread lies, and in some cases, utterly ridiculous lies, which went unchallenged for long enough for most people who didn't know better to start believing they were true.

    What next indeed.

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  • 74. At 3:08pm on 13 Jun 2008, SaxonVoice wrote:

    Of course the EU and their friend wont accept no and they will keep demanding a vote until they get a yes. Like the Scottish referendums.

    Sorry Liberals arent liberal when it comes to democracy and Labour are too scared to face the people because they would lose.

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  • 75. At 3:10pm on 13 Jun 2008, SaxonVoice wrote:

    We signed up to a european market not a union when we were given the chance last time. Just because maggie wouldnt allow vote. Doesnt mean we cant have 2 votes in the 21st century ie 1) IN OR OUT EU 2) YES or NO Lisbon treaty

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  • 76. At 3:11pm on 13 Jun 2008, bedshapedx wrote:

    Personally I'm confused by 23's comment.

    I also study EU law and this treaty would basically give the EU a free rein to impose any law it liked upon any nation-if it is for 'the advancement of the EU'. Basically more power for the Eurocrats.

    We cannot have that!

    Well done to the Irish for voting what nearly every other nation was thinking.

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  • 77. At 3:17pm on 13 Jun 2008, jen472 wrote:

    Bravo to all of you in Ireland! Much respect from the U.S.

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  • 78. At 3:20pm on 13 Jun 2008, the-real-truth wrote:

    Pretty much every one who has ever been asked has said 'NO' - for the EU to continue without consent is a blatant rape of democracy.

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  • 79. At 3:20pm on 13 Jun 2008, kapenaar wrote:

    Hi from the Netherlands. I have been reading all the messages on our Dutch blog sites and the message is quite clear....THANK YOU IRELAND! we are in your debt.

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  • 80. At 3:21pm on 13 Jun 2008, betuli wrote:

    I totally agree with our Finnish fellow Jukka_Rohila (11). Lisbon is dead. Something else should be negociated.

    The most salomonic solution should be to institutionalise what already happens de facto: a EU in two speeds.

    Under this double structure, every country should feel confortable. Otherwise, there will be always the option to quit.

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  • 81. At 3:22pm on 13 Jun 2008, colmacgearailt wrote:

    themanFiachra 36:
    You're exactly right. A real debate about the direction of Europe is needed. If a two speed Europe is necessary then fine! It might work better for everyone involved. Because as it is the EU is essentially unmanageable. And yes, this Treaty would have helped to improve the EU's functionality but as mentioned there were a number of "left-over" issues from the constitution included. Why? Why not deal with the institutions and how they function independent of other un-related issues such as an European army?

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  • 82. At 3:23pm on 13 Jun 2008, The Realist wrote:

    This is a democratic vote right?

    Well in that case the vote has passed with almost flying colours.

    26 countries say Yes, 1 says No. - Vote Result - Yes!

    Lisbon Treaty is ratified... end of! Now lets see democratic ideoligy work for once!

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  • 83. At 3:24pm on 13 Jun 2008, -StuartC- wrote:

    Gordon Brown must respect the democratically expressed views of the Irish people by halting ratification of the Lisbon treaty through our own Parliament.

    It's due for its third reading on 18 June. That must not happen. He knows we would also vote 'No' given the chance.

    Will he respect democracy or not? That treaty *should* be dead.

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  • 84. At 3:25pm on 13 Jun 2008, SaxonVoice wrote:

    nice to see blog messages are suppressed

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  • 85. At 3:26pm on 13 Jun 2008, Frobnitz wrote:

    To be honest, I don't know if this is a good thing or not - because I don't understand the terms of the treaty.

    The Yes campaign would not, or could not, simply explain the contents of the treaty - and as such, a No vote is very easy to understand.

    The average person in Europe sees the seat of power and influence receding, and becomes aware that their voice in Europe is similarly receding - being one person in an Electorate of 3million is fairly small, being one person in half a billion is vanishingly small - but the influence of business and corporation is strengthened as they only have one government to talk to, not 27.

    European expansion and consolidation is frightening to the man in the street - tell us clearly why it shouldn't be, tell us how our voice will be heard, and tell us in a way we can understand and accept.

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  • 86. At 3:27pm on 13 Jun 2008, Rdlp715 wrote:

    Fantastic stuff! Democracy was really in the air! Not a single yes voter had a reason to vote yes other than the political parties they were loyal to were telling them to. There was not a single positive reason to vote for the treaty, the yes campaign was on the defensive the entire campaign, that speaks volumes!

    There were zero gains to be made, and only risks and weakenings to be had.

    There is now a chance for a real reform treaty, one that tries to fix the democratic deficit and to be non-partisan regarding policies! I would rather a simple non partisan constitution than the ridiculous incomprehensible contradictory legal monster of lisbon

    The reason there MUST be a plan B is that for any new country to join they must have their own commissioner, yet under nice and other agreements they have already agreed there cant be any more. Therefore legally speaking if they desire to expand there MUST be a plan... well C at this stage?

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  • 87. At 3:29pm on 13 Jun 2008, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    Representative "democracy" is just not working. Especially in the UK.

    If Gordon Brown goes ahead with ratification then any Labour MP with backbone should resign the whip.

    At the next election we need to get rid of all those who voted against a referendum and all those who voted for Maastricht.

    We need a complete overhaul of our system of rubbishy democracy.

    Brown has no right to ratify it.

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  • 88. At 3:29pm on 13 Jun 2008, The Realist wrote:

    @ Roger Helmer MEP - Comment 43...

    The BBC's summary of "streamlining decisions in an enlarged EU" is a neutral stance and unbiased.

    You stated a "No" sided view with the "...centralising power..." statement but forgot to include the "Yes" sided view with the "...enabling every country equal opportunity on everything..." statement.

    Please leave your politics off these boards, which are designed for serious and sensible debate.

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  • 89. At 3:35pm on 13 Jun 2008, sparowman wrote:

    Good on the Irish! There's no doubt they've spoken for the majority of all the people of Europe. Typical, though, of Gordon Brown to (reportedly) tell the French not to worry, we'll press on with ratifying it. But then it seems like democracy's not one of his strong points...

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  • 90. At 3:36pm on 13 Jun 2008, EvelineS wrote:

    Unfortunatley the Irish government doesn't seem to have taken into account the lessons learnt from the French and Dutch referenda results.

    It seems a lot of Irish voted 'no' because they weren't sure as to what Lisbon contained, rather than what it actually stood for.

    A very sad day indeed, but perhaps Ireland can pull off another Nice?

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  • 91. At 3:36pm on 13 Jun 2008, Annieoh wrote:

    Democracy is dead in Europe. Only in Ireland does it live on. People all over Europe will be celebrating the fact that the Irish stood up and were counted.

    Why didn't the British government let the people have their say? Because they were afraid that it would be rejected.

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  • 92. At 3:37pm on 13 Jun 2008, virtualrationality wrote:

    Ireland has nothing to be sorry for. It was their full right to have a referendum, and their right to say no.

    And the people of Ireland are not alone, its just that the leaders of other European countries lacked the moral backbone, basic integrity and the respect for democracy to hold a referendum of their own. If more referenda had been held, undoubtedly more countries would have voted no, like they did with the previous constitution/treaty.

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  • 93. At 3:40pm on 13 Jun 2008, MikeFay wrote:

    I'd say if they're going to try to bribe the Irish into agreeing, then they should hold out until they've got the Irish sea fisheries under their control again, as the EU policy is devastating to long term stocks, as half those voting don't care about the fisheries, so are easily tempted to give their votes in return for favourable voting in other areas.

    Centralisation can be good. Localisation can be good. Picking one and applying it all the time no matter what is bad.

    The bureaucrats should realise that if a sensible treaty keeps getting shot down like this, then perhaps the problem isn't the treaty but the people associated with it - i.e. them. Keep Europe, but derail the gravy train!

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  • 94. At 3:43pm on 13 Jun 2008, Josey85 wrote:

    One up for Democracy, we won this round!!

    Thank you Ireland!!

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  • 95. At 3:44pm on 13 Jun 2008, Schrodi wrote:

    Hold the congratulations, folks. This is as much a victory for lies and distortion as any other issue. You would have to have been here to see how the ‘no’ side kept repeating the same scare-mongering stories that weren’t true.

    Yes, it would have been much easier if all other countries were voting. It shouldn’t be left to one country to uphold the principles of democracy on the continent where democracy was born. We can’t tell the other 26 what to do but this was a big bone of contention. Everyone kept saying "But the French and Dutch rejected this! Why are we voting on it?".

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  • 96. At 3:49pm on 13 Jun 2008, gwyddeles wrote:

    And while media eyes were on Ireland, what happened about our working week? Does anyone really believe the safeguards on long working hours? Or will we find ourselves pushed ever so gently towards the full 65 hours, thus losing the protections won by workers over the last thirty years?

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  • 97. At 3:51pm on 13 Jun 2008, anapplefellonmyhead wrote:

    "Voting no today simply because you didn't understand the treaty (as many Irish voters claim to have done) showed irresponsible disregard for the gift of democracy."


    Thats a ridiculous claim. I wouldn't buy a house if I hadn't read or couldn't understand the contract. I see no reason why any person should be told to commit to something they can't understand.

    If the Irish government wanted to convince the Irish to vote yes, they should have made a real case and explained the benefits. Instead, they relied on this "its really a vote about whether we want to be at the centre of europe or not" nonsense.

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  • 98. At 3:54pm on 13 Jun 2008, nicomook wrote:

    Thank you for us, french people !

    In france, vote result was also NO, but the election of N.Sarkozy canceled it ... :(

    All together, build up ANOTHER europe !

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  • 99. At 3:54pm on 13 Jun 2008, Chippelsea wrote:

    Thank you Ireland. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You,


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  • 100. At 3:58pm on 13 Jun 2008, mcdv1975 wrote:

    Thank you Ireland. I do believe I speak on behalf of the majority in the Netherlands that I thank you for your NO vote.

    The majority of peoples all across Europe would have voted NO had we been given the chance. The truth is, which EU-philes will probably not acknowledge, that the majority of people is against further political integration and against the Lisbon Treaty.

    That is also the reason why the political elite conspired to deny us all a vote. They now want to keep up the pretense that 26 countries were in favor and one against. But that, as I mentioned, is not the case.

    The Lisbon Treaty would have meant a de facto end to parliamentary democracy in Europe (which is in a dire state even without it). Legislative and executive powers are increasingly being transferred to Brussels, where they are wielded by the unelected and unaccountable combination of Commission and Council. We have gone from a situation where directly elected parliaments made the laws, to a situation where a mutually-appointed political elite makes them (without the possibility of any meaningful parliamentary control).

    I just cannot believe how anyone would think that moving legislative powers from elected to unelected politicians is a good thing, I cannot believe how people can think that combining legislative and executive powers in the unelected Commission is a good thing (it is a blatant violation of the separation of powers).

    I do believe that the political elite will not now stop and realize that the peoples are against further political integration, but the only thing on their minds will be "how to get this passed anyway". They will close themselves off from all opinion polls which clearly shows across Europe that all peoples are in majority against. They will pretend that its only Ireland. The political elite has been determined since the 1950's to effectively sideline parliamentary democracy and create a system where they can effectively rule by decree, and they are not going to stop now. We might need a revolution.

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  • 101. At 4:01pm on 13 Jun 2008, JohnConstable wrote:

    All those centuries ago, the American Founding Fathers showed exactly how to construct a simple, enduring and stunningly successful framework for pulling together disparate States (read countries) into a union.

    You would think that a common-sense approach by the Eurocrats would be to take this lock, stock and barrel and revamp it for today's Europe.

    You would be very wrong - Eurocrats don't seem to be able to do common-sense.

    Today, politically, the EU just continues to drift.

    It is incredibly frustrating because we European citizens need the EU to protect us from the occasional misguided attentions of some member States.

    For example, detaining European citizens without charge across Europe with wildly differing durations.

    The Americans know that where ever they are in the USA, they cannot be detained without charge for more than three or four days.

    Surely us Europeans should be entitled to similar levels of protection?

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  • 102. At 4:04pm on 13 Jun 2008, need4reality wrote:

    37. At 2:12 pm on 13 Jun 2008, Eoin_og wrote: "...get past this myth that somehow the EU is non-accountable - it is comprised of the national governments of Europe that we voted for..."

    No it isn't. It is comprised of UNELECTED commissioners.

    ...please tell me where democracy plays a part in their APPOINTMENT?

    ...who APPOINTS them? their loyalties lie with those who APPOINT them?

    ...or with those who they are NOT ELECTED by: ie the people of Europe?

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  • 103. At 4:05pm on 13 Jun 2008, missmakeitright wrote:

    You know, I find it funny that the people who wanted the treaty to pass are basically threatening Irleand because they voted no. With words such as, "maybe they should not be a part of the EU" or "they should be cut off" it reminds me of a cetain pathetic president saying "you are either with us or against us". As idealistic as it sounds, what happened to voting in opposition without recrimation? Or what happened to the vaunted EU tolerance?

    Ireland, in the past, has been one of the most pro-EU countries and because they demand that the politicians not give them fluff, and were the only ones allowed to vote in a referendum that affects all EU countries, they are told that they are children for doing so?? Unbelievable.

    Hats off to the Irish. Here's hoping to the politicians finally taking no for an answer...although I doubt it.

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  • 104. At 4:08pm on 13 Jun 2008, SpaMan wrote:

    I can't believe so many people think a NO vote is a bad thing.......... This really is lucky Friday 13th.

    The fact that in Ireland there has been real debate proves that we should have had that opportunity in the UK, instead it was steamrolled through with the government sticking two fingers up at our opinion.

    Of course, the EU don't want voters to spoil their plans, the EU would create their superstate whatever we think, because that is their agenda. The Irish vote has shown that the people have a very different agenda to the EU, and it is now time for some real discussion on where the EU should be going, because I like many others are sick of the EU's hidden agenda that doesn't involve me.

    I really hope this does slow things down - it should, but with normal arrogance, they will not stop here, they will say Ireland can be a special case, and carry on regardless with the formation of their superstate - Now that arrogance should demonstrate once and for all why so many people are now opposing the EU.

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  • 105. At 4:10pm on 13 Jun 2008, corknorr wrote:

    I think the price of the gift of 'one man one vote' is that we all must accept that our view can be outweighed by the views of a majority of others. People have a right in a democracy to vote for whatever reason they see fit. A vote in favour of the treaty because one wants to vote against Sinn Fein is given the same weight as one because of trust for Fianna Fail and the same weight as a vote against because it's not understood for any reason.

    Personally I don't believe that all people who didn't understand the treaty voted no. I am sure some voted Yes as they trusted the views of Political or Business reasons for example, this is their right.

    I think it is unwise for the Yes camp to put the result down to those who understood the treaty being outwieghed by those who didn't.

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  • 106. At 4:15pm on 13 Jun 2008, Brentfordian wrote:

    Press on...?
    The French say 'No'
    Press on
    The Dutch say 'No'
    Press on
    The Irish say 'No'
    press on
    Why not just abolish democacy since our EU leadrers manifestly have no idea what it's about?

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  • 107. At 4:20pm on 13 Jun 2008, mcdv1975 wrote:

    @82 (Mighty Morfa Power Ranger)

    the peoples of Europe were against it, and thus the politicians conspired to deny as many referendums as they could. How about that eh? Democratic? I think not. Most countries would have voted no.

    Politicians like the EU for two simple reasons: 1) it allows them to abdicate responsibility (ie "we have to, because the EU said so") and 2) its a massive gravy train for politicians who toe the pro-EU line (side with us, you get a Brussels job and don't need to pay tax anymore.

    What the pro-EU crowd cannot stand is that we the peoples DO understand what is going on, and we don't like it. That is why they belittle us and say that those who dare being against 'the project' are ignoramuses.

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  • 108. At 4:23pm on 13 Jun 2008, Menedemus wrote:

    "If the EU demands another vote it will hardly enhance its reputation for democratic accountability."


    What democratic accountability is there within the EU? The MEPs? 26 nations and only one country's citizens get a refendum vote? The UK Labour Government who have already stated their intention to progress ratification of the Lisbon Treaty despite the result of the Irish vote and that they have vetoed a UK referendum for obvious reasons? The faceless unelected bureacrats in Brussels and Luxembourg? The unelected EU Commissioners?

    Only fantasists and europhiles imagine that the EU is in any way a democratic organisation or that the EU has democratic accountability!

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  • 109. At 4:25pm on 13 Jun 2008, Liveire wrote:

    Being of "mixed" parentage, i.e. one Irish parent and one British parent and raised in the UK I am glad that I haven chosen to live in a country where democracy and regard for the peoples' opinions are still considered valid, Ireland.

    The one thing that the Irish politicians must realise from this is that they do not know what's best for us, we do, and they should listen.

    Regarding the European politicians and bureaucrats they have no right to determine a course for nigh on 400 million people and to plough on headlong without regard to, and irrespective of, the wishes of those people.

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  • 110. At 4:33pm on 13 Jun 2008, Juch2008 wrote:

    Great comments, Sindoh (Comment 73) and Denoir (comment 71) - thought-through and less on an emotional side.

    "This just means we'll keep the same expensive, inefficient and incoherent system that we have today." - That may be true, but there might be a change, if the no-voters actually know why they voted no, and what they want instead - if they really know? - and HOW to get where they want to be - if they really care to do anything about it...

    To say no and be proud of yourself for doing just that?... How about suggesting an alternative that will really be a better solution to what is offered and then implementing it? Who will be doing that?

    By the way - is there truly nothing valuable that the European integration brought about? Shall we come back to the closed borders and not being able to work in or travel freely ito any country in the EU?

    Oh yes, by the way - I am also for democracy. But I am also for fair balance of rights and responsibilities coming with living and practicing democracy. So - if " the same expensive, inefficient and incoherent system that we have today" is kept - that is the responsibility of those who said no and have not done anything to offer and implement the working alternative.

    Welcome to reality, ladies and gentelmen!

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  • 111. At 4:35pm on 13 Jun 2008, zzzname6 wrote:


    Guess why it had "endless cross references" to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community? Because its function was to amend these documents. It wasn't supposed to be a standalone document at all unlike the European Constitution.

    Why people fail to see it and get worked up about that beats me.

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  • 112. At 4:50pm on 13 Jun 2008, noffers wrote:

    Irlande douze points!

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  • 113. At 4:55pm on 13 Jun 2008, Kellehed wrote:

    QUOTE: "We need to vote again. This is a sad day for democracy. The price of the gift of 'one man one vote' is that we must inform ourselves and use our votes responsibly. The Irish voters did not do this.

    Holding another vote is not undemocratic. Voting no today simply because you didn't understand the treaty (as many Irish voters claim to have done) showed irresponsible disregard for the gift of democracy. It is not the EU which is showing the disregard for democracy here!"


    So, a 'Yes' vote from Ireland would have been democratic, but a 'No' vote is not?

    As an Irish voter I take offence at being told I did not use my vote responsibly - and that by voting no I exercised "undemocracy" in some way.

    In signing contracts etc if I do not understand it I seek advice. There were no sufficient or clear answers to some VERY fundamental questions asked of our politicians by the voters.

    How does one take seriously Prime Ministers, Commissioners, et al who confessed to not having read the text?

    Hence my "No" vote.

    This "Lisbon Treaty" is a re-heated (though Improved) treaty and the people of the Republic of Ireland are not alone in being sceptical of its contents. We were the only ones asked ( a legal requirement ) to vote on it - other jurisditcions changed their laws to avoid a public vote. Is that democracy?

    Perhaps in your version of the EU us mere mortals would have no vote? Abolish Elections?

    To the earlier contributor, the stance of Sinn Féin had no impact on my vote. In fact their "NO" stance was the one factor which made me consider voting "Yes" - and I know a number of people who voted "Yes" because of the SF "No" campaign. Time and again leadership of that Party has shown itself out of step with voters in the Republic. They should stick to the issues in Northern Ireland where they are more at home! Were it not for their participation in the campaign the "No" vote may have won by a higher margin......

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  • 114. At 4:57pm on 13 Jun 2008, need4reality wrote:

    European integration started with ideals and was supported quite broadly...

    The ideals were co-opted by the minority elite, who do not suffer Europe's problems nor need the benefit of any cure...

    These Uber-rich who work to undermine the US constitution and create a totalitarian Europe have made the debate monotonous...

    And now the people no longer support the EU direction.

    "The tighter you clench your fist...the more star systems will slip through your fingers." - Princess Leia.

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  • 115. At 5:01pm on 13 Jun 2008, SecretSkivver wrote:

    #11 . "What the EU must do now is to take the hard path and start negotiations on a new federal treaty that would be opt-in. If some countries don't want to joint the new treaty, they could stay with the current EU, but all other EU countries should have the freedom to go further on in European integration."

    Haven't you realised yet that the last thing the EU is about is freedom. It's about creating a cosy arrangement for the political class of Europe.

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  • 116. At 5:07pm on 13 Jun 2008, SpaMan wrote:

    "" Press on...?
    The French say 'No'
    Press on
    The Dutch say 'No'
    Press on
    The Irish say 'No'
    press on
    Why not just abolish democacy since our EU leadrers manifestly have no idea what it's about? "

    Exactly, that's what they are doing, only they'd hoped you hadn't noticed

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  • 117. At 5:09pm on 13 Jun 2008, lacerniagigante wrote:

    Lisbon's swan... ehm, turkey song. Now how democratic is the result of a referendum that has no quorum? Surely the Irish democratic constitution needs revision, given that a minority of people is allowed to decide the fate of the country. As for the rest of the EU, why should they take notice? If Ireland wants to jump the boat, they're free to do it, but they should return the free lunch. Which raises the question on who will pay back for the roads and the infrastructure that the EU paid for: Libertas or Sinn Fein?

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  • 118. At 5:11pm on 13 Jun 2008, kingcod1980 wrote:

    'Ireland should suspend itself from the EU whilst it decides what it wants to do'

    To clarrify, I do accept Irelands opinion that it has decided what it wants to do with respect to the Lisbon Treaty however Ireland must also accept the opinion of the other 18 countries that have passed the treaty and decide what it wants to do with respect to the EU.

    The other countries where it has passed should be allowed to move forward with the treaty whilst Ireland decides whether it wants to withdraw from the EU completely, get some amendments made to the treaty or obtain some opt outs from the political aspects of the EU similar to Danemark.

    Don't assume that just because the Irish decision was based on a referrendum it is more important that a parliamentary vote in another EU country.............. posters with the Eurovision Turkey asking people to vote 'no' because Ireland were knocked out of a singing competition would not back up such a claim.

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  • 119. At 5:11pm on 13 Jun 2008, need4reality wrote:

    @110. At 4:33 pm on 13 Jun 2008, Juch2008.

    Many ideas for the direction of Europe are tabled. The fact that they are ignored and the will of tiny minorities are pushed through makes it very difficult " offer and implement the working alternative."

    Welcome to reality, Juch2008.

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  • 120. At 5:17pm on 13 Jun 2008, Brentfordian wrote:

    (Mighty Morfa...)

    26 voted 'Yes'?

    Huh, when was that?

    And even if one allowed that their leaders' usurpation of the right to vote was legitimate, the 'Treaty' must be ratified unanimously, and, under the rules you claim to maintain, it ain't been.

    It's a dead treaty mate, unless like the craven Mr Brown, you intend to break that promise too.

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  • 121. At 5:18pm on 13 Jun 2008, shofar2 wrote:

    Oh Yawn. When will we wake up and realise the constitution that was voted out returned in virtually all but name as the "treaty." Now Ireland has gone through the motion of voting it out yet again do you really think the faceless nameless beurocrats in the EU give a monkey's what we think or want?

    Most of the out voted constitution / treaty has already passed into EU law.
    We are pawns in a great deception.

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  • 122. At 5:18pm on 13 Jun 2008, woolfiwsmith wrote:

    Europe shouldn't have been so quick to dismiss dustin the turkey should they?

    Perhaps the ganging up of eastern europeans in an inconsequential song contest has had a more wide reaching effect than first realised.

    Perhaps ordinary voters in western europe are becoming scared of eu enlargement and the possibility that the eu will be manipulated like the song contest.

    This appears to be a turning point so that the european project now should realise that the eu was principally designed to improve the propserity of member nations, and not everyone but its members!

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  • 123. At 5:38pm on 13 Jun 2008, Rhuaidhri wrote:

    I did post this earlier but for some reason it it no longer awaiting moderator and has been removed.

    I Pro European but voted No. I and everyone I discussed this with before today were going to vote no but not because of any of the headline NO camp arguements. In fact you could say we voted no in spite of the NO camp.

    The main concerns are.

    1. QVM. The treaty does not seem to limit what areas QVM will be applied to.

    2. Under the very deliberatelty loose wording of the Treaty and wording of the constitutional changes, it seems like a future Government could ratify future Treaty changes with having to go to the country.

    3. Also with QVM and the new structure, there is not enough power given to the parliament, the council still gets to have its closed meetings and decide things without much accountablity, it that way the treaty is flawed.

    4. Further to that, it was all well and good 20 years ago when Ireland was a net gainer of EU funds that the big countries who also happened to be the big donors at the time correctly got to decide where the money went. But now that we give a more than we take shouldn’t we also have more of a say on how our taxes are spent?

    The information was not easy to understand, in fact it can’t because the treaty is so badly worded that lots of areas are very much open to interpretation. It would take the European Court years to make all the rulings needed to make it clear what exactly is in this treaty.

    I and many others had to reread the Referendum Commission booklet a number of times to get a clear idea of what they were trying to say. It is very poorly written and could have been presented a lot better.

    Given the very flawed nature of the Treaty there was only so much they could do. However I also had the feeling that they were trying to say, never mind it’s all to complicated for you to understand, just vote yes.

    While I anyone else who made the effort to research prior to voting the idea was that in matters such as this the Referendum Commission should have presented clear and balanced information. People should not have to go out and find it. If people are feeling very confused it is only right that they should vote no.

    It can be very dangerous to agree to something you don’t understand.

    Let me further add that I'm not against Ireland contributing financially or being ungrateful to my fellow Europeans. But this is a bad treaty and although parts of it are better than what currently exists that is no reason to adopt it.

    Why should a large country who is getting money from the EC have a larger say than a smaller one who is giving money?

    If the EU is now meant to be about something more than that then we need to go to the people of europe and get agreement on a new format. But wait that was tried and the Dutch and French rejected it and others might of had they the chance.

    A new Europe requires a ground up building process. We need to consult the peoples of europe directly and let everyone have their say. Until that happens there should not be a new state created by a few politians behind closed doors who feel they know what is best for us.

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  • 124. At 5:40pm on 13 Jun 2008, SpaMan wrote:


    "" If Ireland wants to jump the boat, they're free to do it, but they should return the free lunch. Which raises the question on who will pay back for the roads and the infrastructure that the EU paid for: Libertas or Sinn Fein? ""

    The EU didn't pay for anything - all the EU does is redistribute money in the form of grants that came from other countries like Britain that are paying over the odds.

    It would be very nice if Ireland paid this money back to Britain.... but we're used to supporting others..... besides, we are very grateful that the Irish people had the gumption to vote NO, so on behalf of my country, I say keep it, for now you've earned it.

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  • 125. At 5:47pm on 13 Jun 2008, Richard Drake wrote:

    After this great success for the No campaign, isn’t it right for Irish leaders, not least the Taoiseach during his visit to Brussels next week, to turn haughty criticism of the Irish people from EU elites for daring to give the wrong answer into a trenchant attack on all the other member states for not giving their peoples a say at all?

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  • 126. At 5:58pm on 13 Jun 2008, Sussex_Sceptic wrote:

    where is my earlier comment please?

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  • 127. At 6:49pm on 13 Jun 2008, machinehappydays wrote:

    Irish eyes are smiling,
    and rightly so, they live in a democracy.
    Their vote is a right of people living in a democracy.
    Your move Labour, are we a democracy?

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  • 128. At 7:02pm on 13 Jun 2008, rjones2818 wrote:

    God(s) bless the Irish!

    Let's be honest. I my country were the only one allowed to vote on a treaty such as the Lisbon one, I'd vote against it on the principle that the other countries should be allowing votes as well.

    Good job, Ireland!

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  • 129. At 7:07pm on 13 Jun 2008, NuclearNick wrote:

    Perhaps Ireland would now like to leave the EU. Given that per capita its net income from the EU is greater than most, the rest of us would be left better off! The sooner we put an end to the existing situation of one of the most affluent countries in the EU being one of its biggest beneficiaries (per capita) the better.

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  • 130. At 7:09pm on 13 Jun 2008, gstonesunited wrote:

    On behalf on Ireland I truly am sorry.

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  • 131. At 7:20pm on 13 Jun 2008, RCMoya612 wrote:

    'Their vote is a right of people living in a democracy.
    Your move Labour, are we a democracy?'


    You're not 'just' a democracy. Get your political and social history straight.

    This country is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch. You don't live in ancient Athens, where Athenians got to vote on every proposal anyone could dream up.

    Parliament in this country is supreme by law and tradition. THAT is how this country has always been run. If you don't like how Parliament votes, then you vote the bums out. But it is Parliament's RIGHT and discretion to vote on all treaties on its own.

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  • 132. At 7:23pm on 13 Jun 2008, jameshfus wrote:

    I don't understand what makes Eurpoean referenda unique. Normally, in advance of a vote, arguments are put forward, for and against what is being put to the vote.

    In votes about the EU, facts are neither here nor there., e.g. claims that ratifying the treaty would end up in babies getting microchipped. Until we are able to have a frank and honest debate about Europe and how it's member states co-operate together, it's not a surprise that so many see the EU as something that simply sucks in power from member states and creates directives on a whim.

    Until we can have a grown-up attitude towards Europe and consider it on it's merits, perhaps further EU integration is further away than Brussels believes.

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  • 133. At 7:29pm on 13 Jun 2008, RCMoya612 wrote:

    Here here jameshfus.

    Sensible comment indeed.

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  • 134. At 7:32pm on 13 Jun 2008, Wopitt wrote:

    I find the sour grapes of the losing side (and yes, they lost) amusing.

    They would never accept the questioning of the outcome if they had won.

    There views seem to be:

    1. The Irish were wrong
    2. The Irish didn't understand it
    3. The pro-camp didn't do a proper job of explaining it
    4. The Irish should have never been allowed to vote
    5. It doesn't matter anyway

    A correction - a few posters are stating that the vote was only 45% - it was 53.1% - number 27 and 29, please correct your earlier postings.

    Many have claimed that the majority of Europeans (the other 26 countries) voted yes, so therefore a true democratic outcome would be to ignore the Irish.

    The truth is that the majority of European would reject this treaty as they know that it is the most audacious power grab in modern history.

    The British Government has NO mandate to pass this Treaty, as they are renaging on a manifesto commitment to hold a referendum on it. Their obligation to hold a referendum is subject to an ongoing court case, and in the unlikely event that the courts uphold the principle of natural justice against the unverwhelming power of the state and support the case for a referendum, I hope that we will have the common sense to hammer home the Irish message.

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  • 135. At 7:32pm on 13 Jun 2008, Rhuaidhri wrote:

    gstonesunited you have no right to speak on my behalf or on behalf of anyone else who voted no.

    I find it very disheartening that on a number of blogs etc you have people saying oh the ungrateful Irish after all the money we have given them they just don't want to give it back now they can afford to.

    As it stands we will still be net contributors under the curret rules. Let's be realistic Lisbon was new treaty just because we voted no to it doesn't mean we aren't bound by the existing ones.

    Secondly we were given that money for consessions in orther area's, the Spainish or example have made bucket loads of money from being allowed to fish our waters and use up our resources.

    Even in the new Europe there is no such thing as a free lunch unless you happen to be one of the over paid pencil pushers in Brussels.

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  • 136. At 7:37pm on 13 Jun 2008, Wopitt wrote:

    Re post 134 - sorry I mistakenly attributed the low turn out to post 27 and 29 - it was 37 and 41.

    Apologies to all.

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  • 137. At 7:45pm on 13 Jun 2008, Wopitt wrote:

    Number 131 - get your fact straight.

    The power of the government to force through acts is limited by act and convention.

    The ability to use the Parliment Act is accepted to restricted to only those issues that were clearly articulated in their manifesto. Furthermore, it is accepted that they should have formed a central plank of the parties policy on the subject in order that they can claim a popular mandate.

    In this case the government clearly stated that we would be given a vote on this matter. The fact that they claim that the treaty is not a constitution by another name is risable. Everyother senior politician in Europe says otherwise, and they cannot both be right. Is Brown in a majority of one?

    The British Government has NO mandate to pass this treaty into law.

    If you break the rules don't expect others to follow them.

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  • 138. At 7:48pm on 13 Jun 2008, mcdv1975 wrote:

    @jameshfus (132)

    Well, maybe the majority of peoples in EU doesn't want any 'further integration'. Ever considered that possibility?

    @gstonesunited (130)

    No need to apologize, I feel that the majority of Europe THANKS you for voting NO. I certainly do.

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  • 139. At 7:58pm on 13 Jun 2008, RCMoya612 wrote:


    What are you on about?

    The Parliament Act has nothing to do with what you're talking about. That act(s) has to do with the House of Commons' ability to legislate over the intransigence of the House of Lords. It's about the supremacy of the HOC over the HOL, and that's what it's only about.

    You're talking about electoral manifestos, an issue that is neither here nor there to the point of whether Parliament can vote on whatever the HELL it wishes to vote on. Conventions exist, for sure, but it is a long established legal principle in this country that Parliament can make or unmake any law it so wishes--no matter how patently ridiculous it is. That is the doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty: Parliament is SOVEREIGN, not the people. An Act is voted upon by Parliament as a whole, not factions within it. The courts have no jurisdiction to inquire otherwise.

    You ARE, perhaps, right in arguing that the Government have not 'mandate' to pass the Treaty if they promised the referendum. That is a POLITICAL question, not a LEGAL one. LEGALLY, the Government are within their right to ask Parliament to vote what its majority can command it to ask of it.

    The Government have done that, and the House of Commons has voted in the AFFIRMATIVE.

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  • 140. At 8:27pm on 13 Jun 2008, ScepticMax wrote:

    @ Roger Helmer MEP @43

    I have one of your "Love Europe - Hate the EU" bumper stickers. They are very popular.

    Thanks for fighting the good cause.

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  • 141. At 8:29pm on 13 Jun 2008, jameshfus wrote:

    In response to post 138, with all due respect, it's hard not to come to consider it given many of the opinions expressed in this blog. If the voices of those supporting closer EU integration were half as loud as those opposing it, perhaps it might be possible to consider the European project in a more balanced and fair way.

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  • 142. At 9:02pm on 13 Jun 2008, Kalleboll wrote:

    "Ireland is afraid of losing sovereignty? Understandable! Sadly, in 10 or 20 years, the US, Russia, India and China (and not a divided Europe) will take decisions that affect and concern everybody in the world (Terrorism, Global warming, energy, aids, etc?). Don?t worry, they will not ask the opinion of the Irish government, and even less that of the Irish people. Talking about a loss of sovereignty!"

    Small countries like mine have never had anything to say in such BIG and important matters anyway - what will we actually loose? Democracy is more important than Britain or France getting a huge say in big politics outside Europe. We prefer UN in those case (which by the way don't function because big countries want to meddle with everything and create their own rules). Lets leave this "we should rule the world" stuff for some other (criminal) organisation to take care of.

    ..And terrorism as a reason to not have an accountable and elected government? Did you steel Mr Bush speech (dating back four years or so)? Will India and China really dictate our policies because we are defenseless against globalisation? What will Indians actually do against terrorism - that we must reject with the mighty super EU? Indians seems like a fairly reasonable people :-) . Global warming decisions and the US in the same sentence?

    Short add to "things that worry me about the EU":

    * We contribute more than most (top 5) in relation to what we get back (so do you Brits). Traditionally this money has gone to Spain/Portugal and southern countries because they needed that money - and now those countries whom long benefited from EU are opposing for instance the Polish (i.e. eastern countries) getting more funds! That sucks! I'm all for us paying more than we get back, but those who need a few extra bucks at the moment are Easter countries. Why should we over-stimulate fully functional economies on our own level? Solidarity from those countries who have benefited the most from the the EU is below standard! We cannot value EU in relation to the amount of money we get back!

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  • 143. At 9:39pm on 13 Jun 2008, busby2 wrote:

    Thank you, Ireland!

    I always hoped Ireland would vote No but didn't have that much hope that they would.

    The Yes campaign was based on lies, like the one which the Irish PM told to a voter when he denied that the treaty reduced the influence of Ireland in the running of the EU.

    So full marks to the Irish for having the courage to say No in the face of unrelenting bullying and lies from their politcial elite, all of whom supported the Yes campaign.

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  • 144. At 10:29pm on 13 Jun 2008, maureenodonnell wrote:

    First, Bernard Kouchner, the French Foreign Minister, made a veiled threat against Ireland in the event of our repudiation of the Lisbon Treaty. Now Jose Maria Barroso seems to be prevaricating although the RULES require each of the 27 States in the EU to accept the Lisbon Treaty if it's to be ratified. All these gentlemen have been doing is making the case for the "No" campaigners who have insisted that the way the EU elitists do their business is
    profoundly undemocratic.

    We've said "No" to totalitarianism, whether it's from the Left or the Right. If Mr. Barroso tries to wriggle out of this, the EU will be exposed as a complete farce.

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  • 145. At 10:57pm on 13 Jun 2008, lacerniagigante wrote:

    Re: 124

    "The EU didn't pay for anything - all the EU does is redistribute money in the form of grants that came from other countries like Britain that are paying over the odds."

    You talk of Britain as if it were a person, while the EU is a structure. But in fact, Britain (or the UK if you will) is also just a structure. At the end of the day it's the citizens of the EU (not only UK, remember?) that pay taxes that get redistributed.

    "It would be very nice if Ireland paid this money back to Britain"

    Again, mistake, you should think EU. Because it was through the EU that Eire got the money. As far as Britain-Eire relations, that was solved back in 1920's. And, we all know about the British good will.

    ".... but we're used to supporting others....."

    You must be talking about Maggie Thatcher's rebate: a high shining example of solidarity. Or do you have some other case of great British support to Europe?

    "besides, we are very grateful that the Irish people had the gumption to vote NO,"

    Who do you mean by "we" exactly?
    And by Irish "People" you mean the 53% of the 45% (a clear minority) who bothered to go to vote (with Eurovision-like arguments in their brains). I acknowledge that Libertas media-propaganda techniques (reminiscent of Berlusconi's media machine) worked quite well.

    "so on behalf of my country, I say keep it, for now you've earned it."

    You speak on behalf of "your" country, and having implied it's the UK, are you Gordon Brown by mistake ;-)

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  • 146. At 11:00pm on 13 Jun 2008, lacerniagigante wrote:

    Re 143: "The Yes campaign was based on lies, like the one which the Irish PM told to a voter when he denied that the treaty reduced the influence of Ireland in the running of the EU."

    I don't know about that one, but as things stand we see that Ireland has a disproportionate influence on *stopping* the EU. Some of the 1/2 billion may not be very happy about it.

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  • 147. At 11:07pm on 13 Jun 2008, Ottawafiasco wrote:

    GOOOD! At least, the only people asked to vote on this antidemocratic scheme voted "NO". Ouf! Can we imagine what Europe could be without democratic vote? Beware, although. Eurocrats and Statocrats = centralizers , like to submit people. Beware that what they have in mind might be like in Denmark: have a rapid vote 6 months later to reverse the actual vote. And have the other States ratify the Lisbon Scheme while they are working hard on Ireland. The "No" leaders should maintain the pressure all the time and make allies elsewhere in Europe so that this antidemocratic idea of Europe dies surely. In Canada, the 1867 and 1982 Constitutions were not ratified by the people, but approved by Conservatives or Liberal cronies. It is open door for abuse and we still suffer from that. Don't let the centralizers destroy your freedoms. Europe can be build on respect for people, States and cultures. Switzerland shows the way. With 4 different races, 2 main religions, it managed to do quite well by keeping the "Cantons" alive and the German majority in check by limiting the scope and powers of the federal governement. Who knows the President of the Swiss Federal Council? Think about that. Europe will be build by having a weak federal government and strong States. Otherwise, it will blow up or be undemocratic. Do we need another Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagnus, Charles V, Napoleon, Hitler?

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  • 148. At 11:07pm on 13 Jun 2008, charls wrote:

    Now maybee the Elit off Europ understand that democratci is very good alternativ to Fasist-Democrati ( democrati legimitet problem in vest-country's 1921 "Mahatma Gandi"). Thank you Irich people fore saving Europ from slaveri and dissaster.

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  • 149. At 11:29pm on 13 Jun 2008, busby2 wrote:

    I posted in 143 that "The Yes campaign was based on lies, like the one which the Irish PM told to a voter when he denied that the treaty reduced the influence of Ireland in the running of the EU."

    lacerniagigante replied
    "I don't know about that one, but as things stand we see that Ireland has a disproportionate influence on *stopping* the EU. Some of the 1/2 billion may not be very happy about it".

    Well the answer is very simple isn't it? Put the treaty to a referendums in each of the 27 member states and see just how popular it is!

    There is an enormous democratic deficit at the heart of Europe and a total unwillingness of the EU Commission to rectify this by encouraging member states to put the treaty to referendums in each member state. The reason again is simple: the Commission and our leaders know that the people of Europe do not share their goal of ever closer union.

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  • 150. At 00:13am on 14 Jun 2008, freeray wrote:

    Thank you Ireland and the Irish people.

    Many on this blog are suggesting that the UK voted for the EU in 1969. I can assure you that we did NOT.

    We voted for the EEC which we were assured was only a trading agreement.

    We were lied to then and have been lied to ever since.


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  • 151. At 00:41am on 14 Jun 2008, SNODSER wrote:

    Irish people do not accept bullying from their people, their politicians or so called European leaders.
    Veiled or Unveiled threats from Barroso and others can not coerce those who have lost livelihoods due to stupid fisheries and farming policies to give ratification to Lisbon.

    Lisbon is Dead!!
    Long live Democracy and Freedom!!

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  • 152. At 01:17am on 14 Jun 2008, Stevebolter wrote:

    This just shows how much reform is needed.

    The No vote was made by just 0.18% of the EU electorate but, because it occurred in a small country it has brought progress on the Treaty to a standstill.

    It would require a vote 20 times bigger than that in the UK to haver the same effect, a an even small vote in Luxembourg.

    We must not admit any more members before we have a system suitable for an organisation of many Nations, some very much smaller than others.

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  • 153. At 02:52am on 14 Jun 2008, archkatakana wrote:

    There have been comments here and elsewhere criticising the Irish who sided with the No camp because they couldn't understand the Treaty. When people don't understand a legal contract legal advice is obtained, they say. Unfortunately, of the 166 TD's (MPs) here in Ireland it appears very few actually read the full treaty themselves and none the that I heard of including a few that I emailed directly professed to having a full understanding of the document. So, those we were to get our advice from couldn't supply it.

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  • 154. At 03:05am on 14 Jun 2008, powermeerkat wrote:

    "The No vote was made by just 0.18% of the EU electorate but, because it occurred in a small country it has brought progress on the Treaty to a standstill." [#152]

    The 'no' vote was made by just 0.18% , because 99.82% of the EU electorat has been denied a vote.

    "Democracy in action".

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  • 155. At 07:30am on 14 Jun 2008, Pencils wrote:

    Ridiculous - 110000 people dictate the fate of 500 million - and most of those 110000 didn't even understand what they were voting for.
    If that is the definition of democracy in Europe we are destined to remain a collection little states smug in their own prosperity and with a steadily declining influence in the world. The US and China will continue to dictate our fate.

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  • 156. At 08:44am on 14 Jun 2008, threshold7 wrote:

    Does anybody in the European political class realise how idiotic and contemptible they are beginning to look to the rest of the world?

    These are people who fly the world, banging on about democracy. They'll lecture China, Zimbabwe, Russia and Iran ad nauseam about, among other things, the need for political accountability. And yet here's what a major European leader said yesterday after the Irish result: "Should we let it go at the stroke of a pen? Should one just write an X and then the country goes just like that?"

    Sorry, it wasn't a European. It was Mugabe. Barroso said: "The European Commission believes the remaining ratifications should continue to take their course... The treaty is not dead. I believe the treaty is alive."

    Spot the difference.

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  • 157. At 08:52am on 14 Jun 2008, Menedemus wrote:

    The Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, has said the Irish vote did not mean the end of the Lisbon Treaty.

    "We shall effectively look for ways to ensure it comes into force. . ."

    It would seem that the small voice of the Irish is going to be ignored. What a surprise!

    I am certain now, that if all the 18 States that have so far ratified the treaty (or are progressing ratifcation) were to actually hold referenda, I am sure that the majority of the western European electorates would vote "No" too! This would be majority vote of the 270 million citizens of th EU territory!

    Because the politicians know this would likely be the outcome, they avoid testing the opinion of voters and choose to cloak their ratifcation process with claims of legitimacy.

    As I recall the last time that a political organisation in Europe seized political power by stealth and then surreptitiously 'proved' it's legitimacy through falsehoods and rigged plebiscites was the NAZI party in Germany in 1933.

    There may even be europhiles and EU bureacrats thinking that the Irish, for daring to have voted "No", should be carted off to Concentration Camps 'knowing' that before long they will be voting "Yes" in the next rigged plebiscite for expanding the powers of the EU - deja vu of the 98.7 "Ja" vote for Hitler's NAZI Party 1933!

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  • 158. At 09:03am on 14 Jun 2008, Bob Jones wrote:

    Since our government cheerfully ignores laws that they have made if it doesn't happen to suit them, I should imagine that they will choose to ignore the result and carry on as though it didn't happen.

    The only real answer is to give us all the chance to have our say on this most important issue.

    Democracy? No longer in Britian.

    Bob Jones

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  • 159. At 12:02pm on 14 Jun 2008, labourbankruptedusall wrote:

    The EU listening to ideas about democracy? Now that'd be a first.

    They'll just ignore the vote and carry on; they'll rename it and then force it through without allowing any referendum. Ireland will have some kind of opt-out which nobody else has, and we'll all be the poorer for it.

    They already bullied countries into not having a referendum after the first failure, and individual governments weren't principled enough to stand up to them on behalf of their own people. After this second failure they'll use the same tactics and try again.

    Meanwhile, people's hatred of the EU as an organisation will increase because of the enforced erosion of democracy in member states that it causes.

    If the EU don't listen and change-tack then in the long term people in each country will end up voting for parties in their own country that will take them out of the EU altogether, and that'd be disastrous.

    We need to stay in the EU, and the EU needs to change its approach; that's the only workable way forward.

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  • 160. At 3:37pm on 14 Jun 2008, JBCOCO wrote:

    That's a pity for european people.
    We must see further than a simple treaty.
    You make a vote for you and not for politicians.
    I think that this "no" response will not resolve anything, it is a negative attitude.

    Ireland got 60 Mds funds from europe to developp and the result is good.
    Don't you think its time to be adult now?

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  • 161. At 3:40pm on 14 Jun 2008, GerritC wrote:

    I do hope, the majority of Europeans will have a look on the world map and think for a while what kind of future they face.
    The balance of economic and political power is changing decicively at this very moment of history since many developing countries finally started to develop explosively. China, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brasil, Peru, rich emirates in the middle east etc. etc.
    Billions of people getting some prosperity and strive to have a say in world affairs too. And not to take me wrong I think this is a fantastic development for the world as a whole.

    But for the Europeans it poses the question which role they want to play in this century.
    They can stay with the treaty of Nizza, a half- baked construction resulting in a slowly, slowly, slowly moving bunch of states which all are proud of being independent from their neighbours which they fought for hundreds of years.
    Or they make up their minds and take a resolute step to more unity, less independence from each other but more independence from the emerging big powers of the world.
    I see the fear of small states like Ireland to get lost in the big European Union because they only comprise 1% of the EU population.
    But in fact a 1% share in Europe (let alone the fact that less populated states within the EU have a more than proportional political share) will be more influence than Ireland can get if it tries to act alone on a world stage of soon people.

    A big discussion has unfolded if a treaty like this has to be approved by a referendum.
    I think it should not because this implies a wrong understanding of our democracy.
    Why do we have parliaments?
    Just because it is not practically possible to hold a referendum for each governmental step, each day? I think there is more to it. We have parliaments because societies nowadays are professionalized. Decisions on this political scale are made by politicians due to the same reason why heart surgery is done by heart surgeons and not by the husband or wife or child or parents of the patient who sure are more personally affected.
    So I think we should not shout "Democracy, Democracy" without "Parlamentarism, Parlamentarism". The people have the choice every few years. If they want profound decicions like to leave the European Union for instance they could vote for a party which promises to do exactly that.
    I think this is the best balance between rule of the peaple and good decision making we can get.

    Another topic is the common frustration about EU instituions leading to recurrent rails against "Eurocrats". I think the main reasons for this are that the demerits of the EU are widely pointed at by the local (national) media and politicians while the overwhelming positive effects are constantly concealed because they would diminish the glorious role of the national actors in reaching positive results.

    Hopefully the unthoughtful outbursts of frustration vaguely directed to "Europe" the "EU" the "Eurocrats" the "European Elite" give way to a more constructive and necessary critisism of the institutions and developments of the European Union.

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  • 162. At 7:34pm on 14 Jun 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Government without the consent of the governed. That is the definition of tyranny. That is also the definition of the EU.

    Government by the people, for the people, and of the people, that the definition of democracy. That is not the definition of the EU...or any of its constituents.

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  • 163. At 9:16pm on 14 Jun 2008, mcdv1975 wrote:

    @GerritC (161)

    we dutch did not vote for our parliament so they could then permanently give their legislative powers away to unaccountable politicians in Brussels. They have no mandate to do so.

    And your 'heart surgeons do heart surgeries' comparison to politicians and the treaty makes no sense whatsoever. I know some of these politicians, they have absolutely no idea what this Lisbon treaty was about (hint: it was about further marginalising parliamentary democracy and giving more powers to unelected and unaccountable EU politburo/council combination).

    I do not want uninformed politicians making my choices for me. Politicians have a vested interest in expanding the EU because more EU means more EU jobs for politicians (ie more corruption, more freeloading politicians who don't pay tax, and less influence for the peoples).

    What part of NO, NO, NO do you not understand?

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  • 164. At 10:00pm on 14 Jun 2008, bella wrote:

    Am I surprised that the Treaty was not passed? No. Am I disappointed? Most certainly...

    As somebody who voted on Thursday, it was inevitable that the Yes side would not win for a variety of reasons, reasons which have nothing to do with the so-called "Euro-scepticism" of the Irish.

    First of all, the Yes side, which comprised of all political parties except for SF, was very poorly organised. Case in point: the date for the referendum was announced on the 12th of May, a mere month before the vote. Given the complexity of the Treaty, surely this was an incredibly short time to persuade voters to vote Yes?

    Moreover, a lot of Irish voters did not fully understand the Treaty and the Yes side did very little to explain to voters what the Treaty would do. Thus, most people decided to "vote no for the status quo". I think there was a general assumption amongst the Government that if they simply told the nation to vote Yes, without explaining the Treaty, then it would be passed. Alas, that did not happen. Many people felt that they were being ignored by the Government and there is distrust in the air still over revelations about Bertie Ahern's finances. Fianna Fail's popularity has plummeted in recent months and a lot of people felt that they could not trust a Government who told them how to vote without explaining the ramifications of their decision.

    It is telling that Charlie McCreevey, the Irish Commissioner in Brussels recently admitted to not reading Lisbon...

    Whereas the Government only started campaigning in May, Libertas, one of the main No groups, started campaigning in January.

    The No side used scaremongering tactics to drum up support. Posters had slogans such as "With the Lisbon Treaty, there will be private education and healthcare". Other rumours going around included: conscription, that Ireland would be forced to provide abortions under Lisbon (abortion is a highly divisive issue) and that there would be an end to corporation tax (one of the reasons for the Celtic Tiger). One woman interviewed by the media said that she voted No as she was afraid her sons would be conscripted and they were, in her opinion, "too good looking to be in the army". While such issues might seem ridiculous to most, they are important issues in Ireland and most people chose to belive them rather than read a convoluted document that is double Dutch to most.

    In the aftermath of Lisbon , the general concensus is that the Yes side was badly organised. People were poorly informed and that is why it was not passed. It is telling that even Garrett FitzGerald, the former PM, criticised the Government for its handling of the Treaty.

    What irks me is that we are seen as "Euro-sceptics" who are willing to take everything that Europe has to offer (€3 billion since 1973) but are unwilling to give something back i.e. pass the Treaty. When Brian Cowen meets Barosso on Thursday, I know that he will not accept culpability for the referendum. Rather, he will put it down to the will of the people. It troubles me that on a European level, we are seen as not being commited to European cohesion. We are and are much more pro-Europe than many other Member States. It's just unfortunate that a lot of voters were not fully informed about this plebiscite.

    It is not possible to pass the Treaty in the Dail because of the Constitution, which expressly provides that all major issues reagrding Europe must be decided by refernedum. So, it seems that the only way to rectify this situation is to have a second rferendum but that will not go down well amongst the Irish voters. Lison 2 will delay the European project, possibly resulting in Ireland being left in the second-tier whilst the other 26 Memebr States forge ahead...

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  • 165. At 10:30pm on 14 Jun 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    One referendum, one No vote. That's 100%. The referendum was really not just about the treaty but about the EU itself. The French and Dutch knew instinctively that they would be giving up their freedom. The Irish knew it too. Therefore they cannot be allowed to vote again. It is more important to build the EU superstate than to pretend that it is or will be a democracy. Now Britain has the right idea. The populatoin doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of ever getting to vote on anything even remotely to do with the EU. The government knows they are not smart enough and such important matters have to be decided for them by those who are.

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  • 166. At 10:47pm on 14 Jun 2008, GerritC wrote:

    @ mcdv1975

    "I do not want uninformed politicians making my choices for me."

    Nobody wants.
    But if you are sure that the politicians you vote for are by the majority uninformed, you have to explain who you want to vote for.
    Or do you just boycott national elections?

    I see your point that the European Commission has a profound deficit in democratic accountability. That´s true. But that´s a good reason to support the new treaty because it will give more power to the European Parliament which ultimately depends on your, my, our votes.

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  • 167. At 11:54pm on 14 Jun 2008, betuli wrote:

    R/ 164


    You're right. Irish are usually very Europhile people and we'd be mistaken if we judge the recent No vote as a sign of Irish rejection towards the EU.

    As it's said here, many people in Ireland voted No, like in France and Netherlands in 2005, as a sign of protest against the authorities, in Dublin or in Brussels, but never against the common European project.

    Unfortunately, it could happen now that the Lisbon Treaty will be implemented only in the countries where the Treaty will be ratified by 1st of January 2009, skipping the unanimity required. We'll see.

    Whatever it happens, Ireland with the Euro is already within the EU hard core.

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  • 168. At 00:12am on 15 Jun 2008, Grumpy_Fogey wrote:

    I am more than a little puzzled by the comment (message no. 2 above) that "Ireland should suspend itself from the EU until it decides what it wants to do".

    We have decided: we will not be ratifying the Lisbon Treaty. That means the EU will continue to operate in accordance with the Nice Treaty.

    If any other member states wish to establish a closer union among themselves they may do so, but Ireland will not be participating.

    The clear verdict of the Irish people is "yes" to economic integration, "no" to political integration.

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  • 169. At 00:44am on 15 Jun 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Looks like some uncertain times for Ireland and also for Brussels...looking at the results and the outcome....

    Many questions to be figure out.

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  • 170. At 00:55am on 15 Jun 2008, danny1029 wrote:

    "Fortunately the Irish people have been brave enough to withstand the political bullying and reject this treaty on behalf of all of us." - tarvaa

    This strongly implies that those who voted no... read, understood and disagreed with the treaty. Clearly this isn't the case.

    "One elderly woman had heard that Lisbon would mean the European Union was going to stop people having more than two children, so she was going to vote No. What about the poster suggesting the EU will microchip children?"

    The yes camp didn't lie about the treaty, but the no camp did. People have a responsibility to vote, and a responsibility to understand what they're voting on.

    Unfortunately, because they didn't, we all loose out.

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  • 171. At 00:58am on 15 Jun 2008, ARIZONAVET wrote:

    If the Lisbon Treaty was approved by the Irish people then does that mean all of the EU becomes one country with one EU Embassy here in the US and ionly one Seat one vote in the United Nations giving more power to the Third World countries. Great then we can send home all those European Diplomats who park illegally and never pay fines and the US can close all but one Embassy in the EU and save Millions of US taxpayer dollars. At least that is what our great King George 2 has promised us.

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  • 172. At 06:02am on 15 Jun 2008, Huaimek wrote:

    Quite Right Marcus Auralius !!!

    The majority of British people DO NOT want to be Members of the EU .

    The present British Government is quite right not to give the British People a vote , if they can a void it .

    The British people see the EU as a Soviet type , non democratic organisation .

    Give the British People a vote related to the EU ; if it was Turkeys for Christmas ; the answer is NO ! NO ! NO !!!

    If they want us to give a YES vote , have a referendum on whether Britain should leave the EU .

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  • 173. At 06:42am on 15 Jun 2008, Huaimek wrote:

    I am an Arch Eurosceptic , since before Ted Heath slyly took Britain into the EEC and lied to the people about the implications . I have felt very Bitterly toward John Major who forced the Mastricht Treaty through Parliament and against the wishes of the people . I can understand , that Britain held the presidency at the time ; that it might have been unthinkable that the holder of the presidency should Rat on the European movement . Conservative MPs were ordered to support it or else he'd call a general election . The vote was as narrow as it could be , with I believe John Majors being the casting vote .
    Eurosceptics , who are a substantial majority in Britain have never forgiven him for signing mastricht ; a Traitor to the People .
    However I do recall John Major trying to persuade the European movement toward a Comonwealth of nation states , rather than the EU interpretation of a Federal State . His entreaties fell on deaf ears . Mr major also favoured the idea of Europe expanding to the east .
    27+ Sovereign States as a loosely knit Comonwealth would work and be favoured by the British People .

    My opinion is , that even though the EU is a long way down the ( Wrong ) road to its dream of a Federal European State ; it is not too late to change course towards a Comonwealth .

    I believe that the present number of member states and more to come is unwealdy even with the powers that might be enacted by the Lisbon Treaty .

    You cannot have an undemocratic , unelected central government dictating to nearly 500 million people , who are deliberately denied a say in the future of their country . I see the EU doomed to falure on its present course .

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  • 174. At 07:02am on 15 Jun 2008, powermeerkat wrote:

    You cannot have an undemocratic , unelected central government dictating to nearly 500 million people , who are deliberately denied a say in the future of their country . [#173]

    Oh yes, you can!

    Why do you think Soviet Union endured for over 70 years?

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  • 175. At 09:59am on 15 Jun 2008, Huaimek wrote:

    174 Powersmeerkat

    Yes , Good Point , how right you are !

    The Soviet Union ultimately failed , you say after over 70 years .
    Karl Marx admitted that it was a mistake and wouldn't work .

    Am I mistaken in thinking the European movement is already past 50 years .

    " Rome wasn't built in a Day "; neither did Rome fall in a day .

    Perhaps the EU may have another 20 or so years to run . There is hope for us yet

    Europe has not been subject to a brutal revolution , since 1945 , when people fought bravely for their nation states .
    I know that the original idea was to be sure that there wouldn't be a 3rd world war centred on Europe .
    I question whether we are going the right way about it .

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  • 176. At 10:25am on 15 Jun 2008, Huaimek wrote:

    11 Jukka_Rohila

    The whole purpose of the Lisbon Treaty was supposed to make the management of 27+ closely integrated states more easily managable .
    If you divide the member states in half , the legislation isn't necessary anyway .

    The people across Europe are not against any form of European Union ; but are deeply unhappy with the political ( EU Federal ) form that it has taken and is taking . We are on track for a divided Europe .

    Our own governments knowingly misrepresent us . The European parliament you wouldn't know existed .
    The EU Commission dictates to National parliaments who implement laws we the people don't like .
    If Democracy Existed in the EU , one might more readily accept their ruling , but it doesn't .

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  • 177. At 12:52pm on 15 Jun 2008, busby2 wrote:

    Danny1029 claimed in post 170 that "The yes camp didn't lie about the treaty, but the no camp did. People have a responsibility to vote, and a responsibility to understand what they're voting on".

    Obviously Danny could not have been reading Mark Mardell's blog because Mark reported the irish PM telling a voter that voting Yes would not diminish Irish influence in running the EU. That was a LIE!!! They would lose a commissioner and voting powers. So how can anyone on the Yes side possibly claim that the Yes camp did not lie about the treaty when they clearly did???? After all, surely the Irish PM had read the treaty and knew it meant a decrease of Irish power and influence in the EU?

    It is little wonder that the Irish electorate saw through the lies of the political establishment. They knew the treaty would diminish the power of the Irish people to determine their own affairs and therefore voted No. It was the only sensible decision they could take and full marks to them for seeing through the lies of the Yes camp, as expressed by their Prime Minister.

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  • 178. At 2:32pm on 15 Jun 2008, griffioen wrote:

    Firstly, as the history of the EEG-EG-EU has demonstrated, there was always a so-called 'coalition of the willing' to move ahead with this or that project. (EGKS, euratom, euro currency, ...)

    Those countries who want to go further on the domain of a political union with more efficiency should do so. No referendum should hold them back.

    Secondly, I think referendums are only suitable for simple questions concerning a clear 'yes-no' stance. As the Treaty is a large text who seems difficult for a lot of ordinary folks it was pretty easy for protest voters to convince other people to vote no.
    But have they ever heard of compromise ? When a proposed solution scores 80% on 'good points' it's a pity you vote it away just because you have a problem with the rest.

    And what Busby2 wrote about the Irish losing voting rights, a commissioner and Ep's is just not to the point.
    As the Eu grows bigger it has to guard over its efficiency. With every new member joining, the 'old' members lose voting rights and ep's, because that's pretty logic when u have to decide with 27 countries instead of 15.
    So every country would have lost voting rights and EP's, not just the Irish. Get over it!

    And regarding the commissioner. It would be a great step forward for the accountability, autonomy and functionality of any commissioner when he does not have to stay under his country's umbrella.
    A commissioner HAS to be impartial and does not work for his country.

    plz inform yourself about how the European construction is worked out, what kind of checks and balances are installed and how well the european law is worked out before you start to drivel.

    It's always SO easy to give simplistic answers to complex problems ...

    a bit more research and nuance would do everybody good !

    a european citizen of one of the founding countries

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  • 179. At 4:00pm on 15 Jun 2008, mcdv1975 wrote:

    @178 griffioen

    Are you Dutch by any chance? Well so am I. I do not take kindly to being told that because I am against political integration, that I would be some sort of idiot who does not see the greater picture.

    I, like an increasing number of people around me, am utterly opposed to any more political integration and still seething with anger about the utter treason committed by our political elite against us. Yes I call it treason. Back in 1940-1945 we called it treason to advocate giving the powers of our Dutch government and parliament to foreign politicians (back then: Berlin).

    If you EU-philes time and time again cannot convince us that more integration is a good thing, perhaps its time to stop the arrogant condescenting attitude (by calling us who oppose it stupid uneducated idiots) and finally realize that there might not be a majority in favor of endless political integration for the benefit of the few.

    No amount of socalled benefits stemming from any system would justify giving up parliamentary democracy for. And the EU does not give us any benefit that we could not possibly have without it. The EU is not and never has been an essential ingredient in this.

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  • 180. At 6:16pm on 15 Jun 2008, busby2 wrote:

    Griffioen wrote in post 178 that "there was always a so-called 'coalition of the willing' to move ahead with this or that project". How do you define "willing", griffioen?

    Griffioen was particularly patronising when he/she wrote "Secondly, I think referendums are only suitable for simple questions concerning a clear 'yes-no' stance. As the Treaty is a large text who seems difficult for a lot of ordinary folks it was pretty easy for protest voters to convince other people to vote no". But if us "ordinary folk" cannot be trusted to vote on the treaty, how can us "ordinary folk" be trusted to elect politicians to parliament? It seems clear to me that the problem is not with us "ordinary folk" but with our politicians who cannot be trusted with the responsibilities given to them by their electorate.

    Griffioen complained that the rules needed to be changed to accommodate the growing number of EU states. But the electorate of Europe has never ever been asked whether they wished to see the EU expanded. And they have never accepted that they want the EU to grow into an ever closer and larger union, a super state. Indeed the French, Dutch and now the Irish have rejected this concept but our political masters are having the greatest difficulty in digesting this evident truth.

    Griffioen wrote "plz inform yourself about how the European construction is worked out, what kind of checks and balances are installed and how well the european law is worked out before you start to drivel".

    Yes I have looked at the history and structure of the EU and I don't like what I see and I certainly don't like the way it wishes to go.

    Take the undemocratic way in which european law is made, for example. All laws are drafted by the civil servants in the Commission, are approved by the council and presented to the European Parliament for approval. The European Parliament cannot propose laws or amendments to legislation: they must either accept the Commission's proposals or reject them entirely. That is not a democratic system as power lies almost entirely with the unelected Commission who wish to go ahead with their european project, irrespective of the electorate and wishes of the people of europe.

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  • 181. At 10:16am on 16 Jun 2008, oulematu wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 182. At 10:33am on 16 Jun 2008, oulematu wrote:

    there was a typo in my previous post. Question 1 should read "Do you wish your state to remain within the EU?" instead of "Do you wish your state to split from the EU?" Apologies

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  • 183. At 7:39pm on 16 Jun 2008, mcdv1975 wrote:

    @ oulematu (182)

    I've got an even better question for a referendum to be held in 27 member states:

    Do you want economic cooperation only or also limitless political integration for the benefit of the political class?

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  • 184. At 06:19am on 24 Dec 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Ireland votes No - what next?
    I think that in reality, after some refining to the text of the treaty; the voters in Ireland, will return to the polls and have another vote on the treaty...

    --Dennis Junior--

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